Our CEO Andrew White went back to his roots, Trinity College in Dublin, for the inaugural Adminovate Conference.
The conference, organised by Fund Recs, connects the Funds Industry to discuss its future, showcasing innovation in people, processes and technology. With a filled agenda combining presentations and panel discussions on a variety of topics from 'the use of technology in the funds industry' to 'Blockchain for dummies', the conference was a roaring success bringing together fund managers and service providers.
Andrew was part of the CEO panel where he answered questions around what the tipping point was for him to set up FundApps, what the enablers were (see video below) and they discussed what it's like working with Financial Services organisations. One of the takeaways was that our clients (Financial Services professionals) are looking for proof of concept - they want to see the solution before they take the risk. A mental shift is required for the cooperation with RegTech companies to succeed. That's why we offer specific demonstrations of our solution and employ seasoned compliance experts such as Karl Schindler, our Head of Content. As confirmed in a later panel discussion with a selection of fund managers: outsource to experts, they do what they do best.
The conference is run as a not-for-profit event and any profits beyond facilities and catering costs go to the Trinity Access Programmes and basis.point, supporting educational programmes for disadvantaged children across Ireland.
At the beginning of the year the organisers asked Andrew some questions as part of their Speaker Insight Series, to get to know him better. Read on in case you missed it...
We’ve borrowed the format from Tim Ferriss’s new book ‘Tribe of Mentors’. Throughout the book, Tim poses 11 questions to his interviewees with the request to respond to 3 to 5 questions.. or more, if the spirit moves them. Below Andrew White steps up with his answers:
What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
"The four-hour work week" by Tim Ferris, made me rethink work in general (although Mr. Ferris definitely no longer practises what he preaches). "Rework" by David Heinemeier Hansson is the book that pushed me over the edge to start my own business. Finally, I think no entrepreneur’s book list would be complete without “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries.
What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.
£2.35 on a Tesco Chicken Salad sandwich which I gave to a homeless person on Kingsland Road last week.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph.
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” Helen Keller
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
I regularly donate on Kiva and seeing the success stories of the individual entrepreneurs is extremely rewarding.
In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?
Getting off Facebook.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
It seems most students aspire to work for a tech start-up, but it honestly isn’t for everyone. Dealing with ambiguity and handling a lack of structure is tough (esp. coming from a structured environment such as university. Have a read of this article first: It takes a certain type of person to work at a startup
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
To quote the song "Sunscreen" by Baz Luhrmann "Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth". LinkedIn and social media are full of lists and "top 10s" and just because the person who wrote it believes it, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Find out who you are first before relying on the words of strangers.
In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?
"No" has always been one of my favourite words. Ever since I was a child apparently. As a product manager it was one of the most vital things I did - saying no to ideas that defocused the product or didn't build on our value proposition. As a CEO you must constantly balance encouraging people to come up with and suggest new ideas, but to take the time to explain why, if you say no to them.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
Stand up, go for a walk, have a chat with yourself.